Patterns and functions of textual sentence stems in academic discourse

  Previous studies on meta-discourse and formulaic language have shown that both phrasal level and sentential level lexico-grammatical sequences perform important textual and interpersonal functions in academic discourse (See (A)del 2006;Hyland 2004, 2005, etc.).However, most studies fail to give a systematic account of the sentential level sequences, whose structural and functional features deserve a more thorough investigation than has so far been the case.The present paper sets out to explore the formal and functional features of this particular type of meta-discourse device, textual sentence stems.These are recurrentsentential level lexico-grammatical sequences in academic research articles (e.g.the present study reports on, it is important to note), which perform a wide spectrum of meta-discoursal functions, ranging from organizing textual information to airing personal opinions and attitudes.Theoretically, we draw insights from Sindair's 'Idiom Principle' (Sinclair 1991;1996;2004) for examining form-meaning pairings and their co-selection relationships in academic texts.Methodologically, we use a new computing method for extracting phraseological sequences from corpora we have recently developed to gather data from JDEST, a 6.5-million-word academic English text corpus (Li and Wei 2010).Over 100 significant contiguous sequences have been extracted and examined closely.And a relatively extensive taxonomy is finally established for the macro-and micro-functions of the textual sentence stems.Results indicate that textual sentence stems are pervasive discourse-constructing devices in research articles, occurring highly frequently in the corpus, and that they demonstrate a variety of co-selections at work, including lexis-lexis co-selection, lexis-grammar co-selection, pattern-meaning co-selection and pattern-discourse co-selection.The study has potentially useful implications for academic discourse analysis and foreign language pedagogy.

作者: 卫乃兴
作者单位: 中国语料库语言学研究会
母体文献: Corpus Technologies & Applied Linguistics : An International Conference(2012语料库技术及应用语言学国际会议)论文集
会议名称: Corpus Technologies & Applied Linguistics : An International Conference(2012语料库技术及应用语言学国际会议)
会议时间: 2012年6月28日
会议地点: 苏州
主办单位: 中国西安利物浦大学
语 种: eng
分类号: TP1 I10
在线出版日期: 3000年1月1日